Dwell Home Venice: Part 14

By Michael Sylvester / Published by Dwell
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In this series, Sebastian Mariscal designs a home in Venice, California, that brings the outside in. We track the project from start to finish with future resident Michael Sylvester. Part 14, May/June 2012: Roof and wrap. Keeping the weather from entering a structure is one of the basic functions of shelter. At Dwell Home Venice the house walls are wrapped in a weather barrier and the roofs are sealed to make sure any rain stays outside.

Dwell Home Venice has exterior walls wrapped in Tyvek weather barrier followed by two layers of black paper.

Dupont Tyvek weather barrier covers the wall near a doorway. Tyvek flashing will be added prior to the door installation.

Dupont Tyvek weather barrier covers the wall near a doorway. Tyvek flashing will be added prior to the door installation.

Scaffolding used during the wrapping of the house and also the application of the final wooden siding.

Scaffolding used during the wrapping of the house and also the application of the final wooden siding.

Stacked roofing materials ready to be installed, including rolls of Versiflex PVC material and sheets of Securock roofboard for use with rooftop gardens. All roofing materials will be installed by JT Harris Inc.

Stacked roofing materials ready to be installed, including rolls of Versiflex PVC material and sheets of Securock roofboard for use with rooftop gardens. All roofing materials will be installed by JT Harris Inc.

A close-up of the triple-layer Versiflex PVC roofing membrane.

A close-up of the triple-layer Versiflex PVC roofing membrane.

Roofing plays an important role in sealing and waterproofing all homes. Dwell Home Venice features intensive and extensive green roofs in addition to standard built-up roofs. The installation of roofing materials requires integration with other building trades such as exterior wall waterproofing materials and also coping on the top of parapets, and so, on this project the roofing was completed in phases.

Tyvek wrap and flashing seals the joint between a window and the wall of the front office. Caulking is placed on the interior. Eventually the entire home will be wrapped in Tyvek.

Tyvek wrap and flashing seals the joint between a window and the wall of the front office. Caulking is placed on the interior. Eventually the entire home will be wrapped in Tyvek.

Versiflex PVC roofing was selected primarily for its cost-effective durability. Versiflex has three layers—a PVC polymer bottom ply, a polyester-reinforced fabric scrim, and a tough thermoplastic PVC-compounded top ply. For warranty purposes it is important that the material is installed according to manufacturer guidelines. Experts at JT Harris installed the roofing system at Dwell Home Venice.

An exterior staircase descending from one of the roof gardens. The stair treads will be installed later but first the waterproofing goes in. Here the Versico PVC membrane seals the stair area before the Tyvek and other paper wrap is installed on the walls.

An exterior staircase descending from one of the roof gardens. The stair treads will be installed later but first the waterproofing goes in. Here the Versico PVC membrane seals the stair area before the Tyvek and other paper wrap is installed on the walls.

An example of a vent penetrating the roof surface. The penetration is sealed so no water can leak into the house. These important details are often invisible to most occupants of buildings.

An example of a vent penetrating the roof surface. The penetration is sealed so no water can leak into the house. These important details are often invisible to most occupants of buildings.

A roof installer from J.T. Harris finishes installing the Versico PVC membrane on a garage roof parapet. The parapet will have a black metal coping installed as the final finish.

A roof installer from J.T. Harris finishes installing the Versico PVC membrane on a garage roof parapet. The parapet will have a black metal coping installed as the final finish.

The bridge from a guest bedroom to the media room will be an Intensive green roof. The width between the parapets will be filled with soil for planting. On the right a drainage scupper needs to be installed and then the PVC membrane will seal the area.

The bridge from a guest bedroom to the media room will be an Intensive green roof. The width between the parapets will be filled with soil for planting. On the right a drainage scupper needs to be installed and then the PVC membrane will seal the area.

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Michael Sylvester

@michael_sylvester

Michael Sylvester is a writer who lives in both Los Angeles and an aisle seat, preferably in the exit row. On his pilgrimage to Dan Rockhill's Studio 804 in Lawrence, Kansas, to see its fabled prefab projects, he was feeling a bit self conscious being a Left Coast vegetarian in steak country. "In addition to their cool prefabs, there was a great vegan restaurant downtown. Who doesn't enjoy mixing good architecture with good food?" he says.

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